From Pine View Farm

May, 2013 archive

Susie Sampson Goes Jersey Girl 0

Walking while Black 0

George Zimmerman, who shot Trayvon Martin, has lawyers who now plead poverty.

George Zimmerman’s defense team said on Wednesday that the defense is “out of money,” less than two weeks before jury selection is set to begin in his murder trial.

The defense’s trust account has less than $5,000, the Zimmerman lawyers said in a blog post, and more than $20,000 in liabilities.

One wonders how much money they invested in their scurrilous attempt to poison the minds of the jury pool.

“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

A polite slip-up.

A Franklin County deputy determined that an East Dixfield man accidentally shot himself in the thigh Sunday when he slipped in the mud while target practicing, Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. said Tuesday.

Facebook Frolics 0

Stupid, dangerous teenager fantasies are not new.

Facebook provides a streamlined delivery system:

The death of a 15-year-old Maine girl allegedly killed in a bizarre kidnapping plot involving a fake Facebook profile has prompted some of her classmates to scale back their social media use — or ditch it altogether.

Nichole Cable was allegedly killed by an acquaintance who used a fake profile to lure her from her home, then kidnap her in hopes of becoming a hero when he miraculously “found” her, according to state police.

The story goes on to say that some teenagers in the community have “deactivated” their Zuckerborg accounts.

“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Make your fashion statement politely:

A 16-year-old has been charged with a hate crime after shooting a man because he was a cross-dresser, Tampa police say.

In a timely sidelight:

Retrieving cellphone records from a private carrier delayed the investigation for more than a month, Sgt. Michael Stout said Thursday.

Throwing away the Key 0

Ricin Beans (Updatedx2) 2

Ricin kooks are back to mailing ground castor beans to persons that don’t like.

The people are nuts–dangerous nuts.

Let George Smith explain.

Addendum:

Busted.

Addendum-Dee-Dum-Dum:

George Smith provides historical background.

Stocks of iStocks 3

Ken Eisold tries to explain how Apple (and other companies) came to have such cash reserves stashed in off-shore tax shelters. It’s all wrapped up in the opinion that the stock market is the be-all and end all of economic value (emphasis added).

In the old days of traditional capitalism, new businesses sold shares to investors who thus became owners. In return, the shareholder-owners would get dividends, and with luck and good management the shares might also increase in value. That concept became obsolete when investors got interested in the far greater returns that could be gotten from flipping the shares. Companies then got interested in driving up the value of their shares, less interested in providing a reasonable and secure rate of return. The profitability of a company became less important than its ability to “increase shareholder value,” as that strategy became known — and in fact many companies stopped bothering to pay dividends at all. They wanted to raise “value.”

That’s how Apple’s ballooning nest egg of $145 billion came about. But then their shares did not continue to go up. What were they going to do with all that money? And how could they stimulate an increase in share prices? The ingenious solution was to borrow money to pay dividends. The problem with just paying out the money they already had was that then they’d have to pay taxes on it first. And the borrowed money could be used to buy back shares, and that too would bolster their price.

Apple, swimming in money, would rather borrow to pay dividends than pay them with money they already have.

It’s not as if they were borrowing money to invest in R&D or a new factory (they lease their manufacturing to low-wage off-shore employers). It was just more Wall Street three-card monte.

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around this one.

QOTD 0

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg:

A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents.

Breakup 0

The Secesh 2

Still wanting to re-fight the Civil War.

Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go 0

Still not good.

Applications for jobless benefits increased 10,000 to 354,000 in the week ended May 25, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Economists called for 340,000 claims, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey.

(snip)

The four-week moving average of claims, a less-volatile measure, climbed to 347,250 from 340,500.

The number of people continuing to collect jobless benefits rose by 63,000 to 2.99 million in the week ended May 18. The continuing claims figure does not include the number of workers receiving extended benefits under federal programs.

Those who’ve used up their traditional benefits and are now collecting emergency and extended payments decreased by about 50,000 to 1.73 million in the week ended May 11.

Always Right, Never Wrong 0

Driftglass often points out that many rightwing pundits are consistently wrong about everything, often contradicting what they have said in the past without blinking and without ever admitting or apologizing for error.

For example, think of the ones who thought total surveillance was the cat’s meow and the bee’s knees when the Bushies did it and that getting a list of phone calls (you know, like police departments supposedly do on television shows several times a night) is a detestable and abominable crime against nature when the Obama Justice Department did it*?

At Psychology Today Blogs, Guy Winch offers some reasons why some folks are incapable to admitting or apologizing for error. I think some of them might apply to David Brooks, Charles Krauthammer, Cal Thomas, Bill Kristol, and their fellows who are always right and never wrong, regardless of what they said yesterday. A nugget:

For non-apologists, saying ‘I’m sorry’ carries psychological ramifications that run far deeper than the words themselves imply as it elicits fundamental fears (either conscious or unconscious) they desperately attempt to avoid:

1. Admissions of wrong doing are incredibly threatening for non-apologists because they have trouble separating their actions from their character. If they did something bad, they must be bad people; if they were neglectful, they must be fundamentally selfish and uncaring; if they were wrong, they must be ignorant or stupid, etc… Therefore, apologies represent a major threat to their basic sense of identity and self-esteem.

__________________

*No, I can’t say I agree with the subpoena (a warrant, which must meet a higher standard of cause, should be required for such actions), but that’s not my point. Plus, unlike the Bushies, they did actually get a bleepin’ subpoena.

Cooch and the Coup 0

PoliticalProf reviews how Cooch and the band got the Republican nomination for governor. It was an inside job:

See, Cuccinelli was not nominated in a primary of all Republican voters in Virginia. He surmised — probably correctly — that in an open competition among all Republicans, the narrowly conservative point of view he articulated might not win the nomination. He guessed that he would split the vote with other conservatives, or that voters might not wonder if he was too conservative to win in what is trending-Democratic state. (Certainly so in presidential elections.)

In either case, Cuccinelli suspected he likely would not win a primary. So he and his supporters engineered that he be nominated by a party convention. Party members from around the state traveled to a meeting to nominate their Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General candidates.

The thing is, only truly committed activists are likely to give the kind of time and effort needed to attend a state convention well away from their jobs and families. Ideologically motivated people are likely to o so; moderates aren’t.

So, naturally, Cuccinelli won the nomination, as did arch-conservatives for both Lt. Gov and AG.

PoliticalProf goes on to explain how he does not think this bodes well for the Cooch’s prospects in the general election.

I think the good professor has a point. Our current governor, the Regent, knows how to comport himself so as to appear (as my old doctor used to say of test results) “within normal limits.”

The Cooch doesn’t know that dance.

Facebook Frolics 0

What is it about Facebook that maximizes the stupid?

Police said the 16-year-old boy forced open a family member’s gun container and took photos of the weapons. The student posted the images and comments alluding to “shooting up the school” on Facebook. The guns were placed back in the container, police wrote.

The Invisible Plastic Shield 0

The Constant 0

Field points out the one constant in American “conservatism.”

It is quite true, and it’s not at all pretty. A nugget.

Since the Founding, the Right has decried government interference with the “free market” and intrusion upon “traditions,” like slavery and segregation, as “tyranny” or “socialism.”

Read it.

QOTD 0

Hyman D. Rickover:

Everything new endangers something old.

Deja Vu All Over Again 0

Delaware Dem notes the end of the Bachmann Spinner Overdrive era in Congress.

A Narrowing Spectrum 3

Ezra Klein reflects on the narrowing of the Republican political mind:

Imagine a policy spectrum that goes from 1 to 10 in which 1 is the most liberal policy, 10 is the most conservative policy and 5 is that middle zone that used to hold moderate Democrats and Republicans. The basic shape of American politics today is that the Obama administration can and will get Democrats to agree to anything ranging from 1 to 7.5 and Republicans will reject anything that’s not an 8, 9 or 10. The result, as I’ve written before, is that President Barack Obama’s record makes him look like a moderate Republican from the late 1990s.

Do read the rest